Function Keys

keyboard function keys flock

Commonly known as "function keys", F1 through F12 may have a variety of different uses or no use at all. Depending on the installed operating system and the software program currently open will change how each of these keys operate. A program is capable of not only using each of the function keys, but also combining the function keys with the ALT and/or CTRL keys, for example, Microsoft Windows users can press ALT + F4 to close the program currently active.


Below is a short-listing of some of the common functions of the functions keys on computers running Microsoft Windows. As mentioned above not all programs support function keys and/or may perform different tasks then those mentioned below. If you are looking for more specific shortcut keys and function key examples we suggest seeing our shortcut key page.

F1
  • Almost always used as the help key, almost every program will open the help screen when this key is pressed.
  • Windows Key + F1 would open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.
  • Open the Task Pane.
F2
  • In Windows commonly used to rename a highlighted icon or file.
  • Alt + Ctrl + F2 opens a new document in Microsoft Word
  • Ctrl + F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word.
F3
  • Often opens a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows.
  • Shift + F3 will change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.
F4
  • Open find window.
  • Repeat the last action performed (Word 2000+)
  • Alt + F4 will close the program currently active in Microsoft Windows.
  • Ctrl + F4 will close the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.
F5
  • In all modern Internet browsers pressing F5 will refresh or reload the page or document window.
  • Open the find, replace, and go to window in Microsoft Word.
  • Starts a slideshow in PowerPoint.
F6
  • Move the cursor to the Address bar in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document.
F7
  • Commonly used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Word,  Outlook, etc.
  • Shift + F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the word highlighted.
  • Turns on Caret browsing in Mozilla Firefox.
F8
  • Function key used to enter the Windows startup menu, commonly use to get into Windows Safe Mode.
F9
  • Opens the Measurements toolbar in Quark 5.0.
F10
  • In Microsoft Windows activates the menu bar of an open application.
  • Shift + F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.
F11
  • Full-screen mode in all modern Internet browsers.
F12
  • Open the Save as window in Microsoft Word.
  • Shift + F12 save the Microsoft Word document.
  • Ctrl + Shift + F12 prints a document in Microsoft Word.